■ The other idea was to send them to the island of Madagascar, but they never ended up doing this —it was a failed idea. ● Evidence suggests that Germans had no idea what they were going to do with the Jews and that the decision to murder the Jews came in 1941 after a lot of ghettoization Did Nazis want to kill Jews in ghettos? ● Governor Hanz Franc said that they were killing the Jews by hunger (death by attrition). Other Nazi officials recommended more food supplies to the ghettos so that they could be better laborers. It suggests there was not one policy for Jews in ghettos (to kill them or not to kill them), conflicting ideas—starved intentionally or preserved intentionally depending on the time, place, and Nazis presiding. Sometimes there was no labor to be utilized but they put Jews into forced labor just for humiliation. ● Permanent shortage of food in ghettos was a policy of Germans: ○ Official daily rations for Germans in war: over 2000, Jews 184 calories per day, Poles 600. In addition Germans and Poles had access to the black market for more food, and the free market— smuggling food in the ghettos was very important for keeping Jews alive. 80% of food supply in Warsaw ghetto was from smuggling—some kind of interaction between outside sources. In some ghettos there was NO contact whatsoever with outside world. ● All these things are meant to show that Ghettoization was a transition for later reservations and making Jews leave, expelling them to the east. ● Ghettos established near railroads, in Poland, later on in Soviet Union after Germany’s invasion of Soviet Union. Ghettoization 39-41 in Poland, ghettoization in Soviet Union from 41-42 Primo Levi’s Survival in Auschwitz Background Auschwitz: what made it exceptional, and why is it synonymous with the Holocaust ● sheer numbers of people who perished there; more people died here then anywhere else pretty much. 1-1.5 million. ● It encorporates the worst of the system: it encorporated the concentration/labor camps with death camps—lead to brutal life of inmates ● It was one of the longest operating camps—closed about 5 months before the Nazis lost the war (November 1944), but the majority of death camps closed in 1943. Final solution was largely solved by 1943 (42 and 43 were main years for final solution).
● It was liberated by Russians in January 1945 and found hundreds of thousands of suits and dresses of people, only 7,600 were found there ● It was established in early April 1940; therefore it wasn’t established to murder jews because that started in 1941. At first it served as a place to send polish prisoners captured in war. In march 1941, work began on Birkenau—gas chambers were located there (originally built in 1941 as an expansion on Auschwitz to house more POWs) it was originally built for 100,000 prisoners— shows their intentions weren’t to kill all the Jews that went there at first, somewhere in July, 1941, the idea came for mass murder. the commandant of Auschwitz was Hoss. They used Soviet POWs as “tests” for using gas chambers
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- Summer '07
- The Holocaust